Monday, July 6, 2009

The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

I love this book. It prompts me to pray in ways that I otherwise would not know how to pray. It helps me to think of God as I ought, reminding me of truths about who he is. It challenges me in regard to my sin, and leads me to call upon God for greater faith and obedience. I not only enjoy reading the prayers aloud and making them my own, but also using them as starting points for my own prayers. On many occasions parts of the prayers have come to mind as I lay in bed or went about my work. I  have worked on committing some to memory. Today parts of the prayer "Openness" (those sections in bold) have reminded me to pray for a life that is focused on things that will matter eternally:

Lord of immortality
Before whom angels and archangels veil their faces,
enable me to serve thee with reverence and godly fear.
Thou who art Spirit and requirest truth in the inward parts,
help me to worship thee in spirit and in truth.
Thou who art righteous,
let me not harbour sin in my heart,
or indulge a worldly temper
or seek satisfaction in things that perish.
I hasten towards an hour
when all earthly pursuits and possessions will appear vain,
when it will be indifferent whether I have been rich or poor,
successful or disappointed,
admired or despised.
But it will be of eternal moment that I have mourned for sin,
hungered and thirsted after righteousness,
loved the Lord Jesus in sincerity,
gloried in his cross.
May these objects engross my chief solicitude!
Produce in me those principles and dispositions
that make thy service perfect freedom.
Expel from my mind all sinful fear and shame,
so that with firmness and courage I may
confess the redeemer before men,
go forth with him bearing his reproach,
be zealous with his knowledge,
be filled with his wisdom,
walk with his circumspection,
ask counsel of him in all things,
repair to the Scriptures for his orders,
stay my mind on his peace,
knowing that nothing can befall me
without his permission, appointment and administration.

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